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Raw Thrills

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Raw Thrills
RawThrillsLogo2004.png
Pretty raw indeed.
Type: Private
Founded: 2001
Founder(s): Eugene Jarvis
Deepak Deo
Andrew Eloff
Headquarters: Skokie, Illinois, United States
Subsidiaries: Play Mechanix
Specular Interactive
Website: https://rawthrills.com/

Raw Thrills is an Illinois game development company that specializes in arcade games, mostly based on movies. The company was founded in 2001, around the time of Midway Games' departure from the arcade business, and is made up mostly of ex-Midway and ex-Atari Games employees.

Why They're Raw (No Pun Intended)

  1. Their early games have very cheesy appeal. This is especially noticeable in Target: Terror, The Fast and the Furious arcade games, and the Big Buck Hunter games.
    • Oh, and get this... Target: Terror's arcade version (a gun game, by the way) has a "PG mode" that just makes the game more cringe-inducing.
  2. Their early games have outdated graphics, with Target: Terror having the worst of them all.
  3. Most of their racing games are boring and repetitive, with races that last for only two minutes or less, broken physics, and featuring vehicles with very wonky controls. Not to mention the severely broken rubber banding on the F&F/Super Bikes games...
    • Speaking of, all of their Fast & Furious games are reskins of the first entry, except with new/different courses, and different vehicle rosters. Aside from that, they're virtually the same, with some minor updates integrated as the series progressed.
    • Oh, and most Japanese cars portrayed in the series such as the Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec II (R34, original game), Mazda RX-8 (SE3P, Introduced in Drift), and Toyota Supra (JZA80, original game) were given a hood scoop (like in most American muscle cars) for some reason, which is also pure cringe as well.
  4. Almost all of their shooter titles come with a "Time To Die" timer, where it cheaps players out with a fake health system. Things will be fine for the first couple of minutes, then after a certain period of time, enemy attacks suddenly deal massive damage. The worst are attacks that can come out of nowhere. According to YouTuber bill rob, the Terminator Salvation arcade game's "Original Mode" uses this system ("Expert Mode" does not, however). No matter how hard you play, you're going to get the Continue screen one way or the other, making games designed with this timer impossible to 1cc.
  5. Their redemption games are either bad adaptations of games that exist on home systems, blatant cash-grabs, or just straight-up unappealing. This is especially noticeable in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2017), and Slither.io.
  6. Most of their movie-based games feel like loose adaptations or are just unrelated completely to the source material. This is likely one of the reasons why the Fast & Furious name was dropped from the Super Bikes IP.
    • A non-movie example of this is Winter X-Games SnoCross. Simply put, it's just F&F, but with snowmobiles. There is literally nothing about the Winter X-Games aside from advertising. No real-life athletes, no actual licensed snowmobiles, no nothing.
  7. Most of their games are quarter-munchers, and cannot be cleared in one credit. Typical with the patented Raw Thrills cheapness, and it doesn't help that their games almost always cost a dollar to play.
  8. Lack of originality. Unlike most of the Midway arcade games, which are inspired by many Japanese-developed games but with unique concept, Target: Terror is a direct-copy of Konami's Lethal Enforcers because of comparison. The Fast and The Furious (2004) plays way too similar to Midway's Cruis'n series due to how similar it was. Also, Raw Thrills did not compose their own soundtrack for the games SuperCars and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2017) and instead borrowed tracks from older games or royalty-free music databases. In SuperCars' case, the soundtrack was borrowed from F&F Drift.
  9. False advertising and shameless rebranding. Recently happened to Aliens: Armageddon, which was renamed "Alien: Covenant"for most Dave & Buster's locations.
  10. While Target Terror, The Fast and the Furious, and Big Buck Hunter Pro did get their ports on the Wii (and later on other consoles, with F&F being rebranded to Cruis'n by Midway), their other games never received home releases.
    • And while the mentioned games were indeed ported, The Fast and the Furious/Cruis'n was a very bad port.
    • Cruis'n Blast, while a good game, the most recent Raw Thrills title to have received a port to the Nintendo Switch, feels like a rather uninspired port. Some of the new courses are either reskins of the original 5 arcade tracks, shorter in length than the arcade tracks, or both. Plus, the new "Takedown" mechanic was ripped off of the Asphalt series. The unlockable vehicles also look very uninspired, like the UFO, the Pegasus, and even the police cars, with one of them being a rebadged Lamborghini car, which was removed from the original arcade version due to Raw Thrills losing the license before the Switch port release.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. They have made a number of good games, like the Big Buck Hunter series (the first two games were published by Incredible Technologies), H2Overdrive (a spiritual successor to Midway's Hydro Thunder), Guitar Hero Arcade (a port of Activision's Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock), and Jurassic Park Arcade.
    • Not only can the latter game be 1CC'd (One Credit Cleared), but can also be completed without taking damage.
  2. Their games are almost always #1 in earnings among video games for arcades that have their titles. Because of this, their content is generally easy to find, since pretty much every big arcade wants to carry their titles.
  3. They have successfully introduced card gaming to arcades, something that has been popular in Japan for many years, but didn't find a foothold in the US until Raw Thrills launched Injustice Arcade (a port of Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment's Injustice: Gods Among Us). Their most recent card game is Minecraft Dungeons Arcade (a port of Mojang's Minecraft Dungeons).
  4. Their games can be fun to play against other people or to just kill time on.
  5. Though sometimes their machines can break easily, replacement parts are generally much cheaper and more common than what Sega or Bandai Namco charges on parts for their arcade machines. Raw Thrills also tend to use generic parts, making their machines easy to maintain.

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